By Phil Hecken
As far as contests go, I’ve had a LOT of fun hosting them (even though it is actually a tremendous amount of work), and I’d like to continue to do so. We had NINETY-EIGHT (mostly outstanding) entries for this past one, and I’d like to think the final sixteen contestants deserved to be there. I also would like to think our winner, Brent Hatfield, won this contest fairly and squarely. He received the most votes of all sixteen finalists in the preliminary rounds, and as you’ll see by the results of the poll below (which I screenshot at 9:30 pm EDT, last evening), he eked out a victory over the second place finisher(s).
From the moment the final voting was released, there seemed to be a problem with mobile users being able to cast only ONE vote (rather than a “vote for as many as you’d like”) option. Still, there ended up being upwards of 4,000 total votes cast. I hope they were all legitimate.
Throughout the week, I and Paul were both approached by several readers (who shall all remain nameless) and who pointed out what appeared to be some voting irregularities. These continued throughout the week. There were accusations of some folks using “bots” or something like that to cast votes. I confess I’m very technically disinclined, so I honestly don’t even know what that means or how one would go about “rigging” the voting. I have no proof of any of it, of course, just my suspicions. In the end, the design of Brent Hatfield received the most votes in both the prelims and the final voting, so I’m satisfied with these results. Regardless of whether this was 100% honest (and I choose to think, or at least hope, that it was), you can’t argue that Brent didn’t come up with a hell of a design.
So, CONGRATULATIONS to our winner, Brent Hatfield. I’ve notified our partner, Steve Rosenbeck of Garb Athletics, who should be getting in contact with you shortly to create your custom jersey based on this design.
With that out of the way (and while I can’t prohibit discussion in the comments, I’d like everyone to avoid any personal animosity or attacks and engage in civil discussion, please), I want to continue to run these contests. But it seems as though I need to figure out a better way for a winner to be determined. Even if there was no “vote rigging” or other shenanigans, it’s obvious that using a free poll program like pollcode isn’t 100% perfect. I know it’s possible to cast a vote from more than one computer/phone (though I do think the software works well in preventing multiple voting from a single IP address). I’m sure there are ways around that. I just thought such things would have been above Uni Watchers.
So, there are a couple of options going forward. We can scrap any and all contests (save for the upcoming Griffins jersey design contest I’ll be doing again this year). I don’t want to do that.
We can take away the power of the vote from the readership (I don’t want to do that either). I believe democratically deciding these things is far superior to establishing some kind of uni panel (which is another option).
What I think is needed is someone who is willing to help out with the polling. So that’s where I’m going to ask you guys for your help. Paul and I have discussed this internally and we’re NOT going to pay for a professional polling service. Paul suggested I ask those who frequently enter these contests if they’d be willing to take up a collection to pay for such a service, but unless everyone agrees to it, it probably won’t work.
Another option is for someone who has a lot more technical expertise than I (which is probably about 90% of you) to come up with other solutions. If you have experience in this area AND are interested in helping out with a new polling software or provider, would you please Send Me An E-mail so we can possibly set something up? I know next to nothing in this regard, and maybe there is a good/almost free/more secure polling software or program out there of which I’m not aware. Or, if you can set up a secure poll, I’d love to hear from you.
I want to thank everyone for participating — both the concepters and the voters. I want to continue to run these contests, and Steve wants to continue to provide our winner with a custom jersey. But they are a lot of work — work which I’m happy to put in so long as we’re having a fair contest. Let’s keep everything on the up and up people. I’ll work my hardest to ensure that happens going forward — but I need your help too. If you can’t actually help with any future polling but can point me in the direction of a better service, please drop me a line.
Stay tuned for the announcement of the next contest. I hope to have a more secure polling service in place by that time. You’re gonna REALLY like the next one…trust me.
Wait…Didn’t The Phillies Throwback Last Weekend Too???
— Sports Funhouse (@SportsFunhouse) July 15, 2017
Why yes, yes they did. And they did it again last evening, this time on the road, playing the Brewers in Milwaukee. The Brewers, who reached the World Series in 1982 (remember, they were in the AMERICAN League then), and who have thrown back to that magical year several times before, are doing it again this weekend. They’ll also hook up with the Phillies in throwbacks today and tomorrow as well. Before we look at the throwbacks worn last night…let’s see what they wore back in 1982. Once again, I turn to the master, Bill Henderson, whose guide is invaluable in terms of any unis worn from 1970 and onward (he also does a great job on throwbacks worn prior to 1970).
If you read Uni Watch during the week, you know that Bill Henderson did a tremendous job sussing out some of the details of the prior Phillies (vs. Padres) throwback that I had written about last Saturday. So before this game even began, I contacted Bill and asked if he could give me some of his thoughts on last night’s game.
Going in, we knew the Phillies probably weren’t going to wear period-appropriate zipper-front jerseys, and they’d probably screw up the fonts again. I had higher hopes for the Brewers because they’ve done these 1982 throwbacks before:
The Phillies, actually, had some experience throwing back to this era:
So. How’d they do?
Let’s first take a look at some game photos (and tweets & videos). Then I’ll have Bill’s thoughts.
Back in 82, the Phillies wore the zipperfront jerseys and their NOBs were vertically arched. You can refer to Bill’s excellent description above for all the finer details. Most of those details were pretty well addressed last night, with the (big) exceptions of the zipper and the NOBs were radially arched. In 1982, The Brewers wore pullover jerseys and sansabelt pants, which they nailed pretty well. They even went the extra mile in wearing period appropriate helmets (and provided the Phillies with burgundy helmets as well — or maybe the Phillies had those leftover; either way, they Phils had proper headgear).
Twitter? What say you?
— Don Vieth (@DonVieth) July 14, 2017
Check out these beauties for '82 reunion weekend. pic.twitter.com/56OD60nwqa
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) July 14, 2017
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) July 14, 2017
— PhilaBaseballHistory (@PhilBaseBallHis) July 15, 2017
— Frank McGuigan (@FrankMcGuigan) July 15, 2017
What are your favorite Phillies uniforms of all-time?
— CSN Philly (@CSNPhilly) July 15, 2017
— Frank McGuigan (@FrankMcGuigan) July 15, 2017
— Frank McGuigan (@FrankMcGuigan) July 15, 2017
How about some videos showing the unis in action:
— TheRenderMLB (@TheRenderMLB) July 15, 2017
Ryan Braun crushes his 17th career grand slam to center field that gives the Brewers an 8-2 lead in the bottom of the 2nd inning!!! pic.twitter.com/ENiTtlb9SB
— TheRenderMLB (@TheRenderMLB) July 15, 2017
— FOX Sports Wisconsin (@fswisconsin) July 15, 2017
Not bad, right? I mean, if you can overlook the whole zipperfront and wrong arching on the NOBs (plus there was the slight helmet number discrepancy) for the Phils. Brewers seemed to nail it pretty well.
What does Bill Henderson think?
My impressions, the Phillies look good. Nothing to complain about really, besides the button fronts, the fact that the NOB should be vertical arch, and the overall fact that everyone is wearing everything three sizes too big. The back names and numbers seem worn lower than is correct and the sleeves seem an inch too long on everyone. The side trim has too much white and the center maroon stripe is not wide enough…. but on the plus side they are wearing maroon Batting helmets and socks (when visible) and I see some maroon undershirts. Overall quite good.
The Brewers are near perfect. Except for bring too baggy. The lack of NOB is correct for 1983 [sic], and is sure appears that they used the Sand Knit varsity number fonts on back and front , which are quite likely the ones I documented or they could have done them themselves. Look especially at the numeral 5 with its diagonal angle on the crossbar and the deep side angle cuts on the 8. The players showing socks and those wearing their uniforms slightly tight look just like 1983 [sic]. I give them a solid A.
Bill included this neat graphic:
He added this later:
Phil, other than the two baggy uniforms, this could pass for 1983 [sic]. Sure, some of the Phillies details are correct, and I think that unit watch really should go on a crusade for’ bringing back the vertical arch name on back.’ I think that would be something that would be pretty cool to get behind, because if it achieved results it would be highly noticeable.
We bitch and complain a lot when things are egregiously wrong. I think we really need to give these guys a tip of the [cap] [f]or this game. I also noticed that on the Brewers all of their accessories are the right color of royal blue. Perhaps that’s not such a big thing for them since their alternate nostalgia uniform is the same color, but they all match pretty well.
Works for me, Bill. Thanks for sharing! I appreciate your supreme knowledge of the details, and love how you sweat them as much as any UWer! And I think most of us on here would totally get behind a movement to bring back the vertical arch!
What did you guys think? You can see more game photos here.
In Case You Missed It…Paul’s Latest ESPN Piece
In case you missed it on Friday, Paul’s latest ESPN column takes a look at MLB teams that have worn zippered jerseys (including Cleveland, shown here, whose 1969 zippered vests featured the MLB centennial patch on the chest, instead on the sleeve).
If you didn’t read Paul’s latest piece, here ya go.
Good stuff there!
Uni Watch News Ticker
Baseball News: Sexy. Big Sexy. Just. #BigSexy. … Whoa — check out these Diablos Rojos MX caps — looks like the bills flip up to reveal a devil mask (fitting, for a team called the “Red Devils”) From Maximiliano. … Not just freaks and geeks: 105 Years Ago Yesterday: the Barnum & Bailey Circus Baseball Team pose for a picture in Zanesville, Ohio (July 14, 1912). From Bruce Menard. … On July 29th, the Indians and White Sox will play a 1917 throwback game — here’s some more deets on that (from Robert Hayes). … A tweeter who goes by The Jersey Archive says this was “The classiest Padres Uni worn by Ozzy Smith in ’77 for the Minor League Walla Walla team.” He (she?) follows up by adding, “Interesting detail: jock tag, Sand Knit made these jerseys in 1976. Wilson, the next year. This 76 batch was sent to WW.” … Great photo (and that pill box cap!) of A’s second sacker Eddie Collins at Shibe Park, 1910 (from Alex Cheremeteff). Also from Alex, here’s another great shot of Eddie Collins, this time from 1915, in his first season with the ChiSox. … “I saw this clip from the 1970 All-Star Game,” says Brice Wallace. “At the :20 mark, it looks like there’s some kind of sign placed inside the third-base coaching box. Any idea what it is or what it says? I can’t find any other video or photos, and this was a couple of years before I became a baseball fan.” … There is a piece of beloved baseball lore that’s been hiding in plain sight for 40 years: The bullpen cart. Paul helped Michael Clair with this excellent, excellent article on them — a MUST read! Incredibly well-researched and thorough. … Speaking of motorized things to come out of bullpens, in 1979 you could buy the Yankees Pinstripe Toyota Celica bullpen car from their catalog for $8,349.75! (from Bruce Menard). … Interesting way of NOB/#OBing the Cubs penultimate World Series victory (good spot from Phil Walck). … Reader Tom Ekstrand has a follow up: “In response to Andrew Lehman’s inquiry 7/14 regarding Fredbird’s Cardinal Cap variation: This is the Cards Cap I purchased at Wrigley Field in 1978. Similar but not the same as what Fredbird wears, but I’ve never seen this version worn on field by the Cardinals.” … I didn’t think it was possible for the Fresno Grizzlies to outdo their own Tacos gimmick, and yet here’s a new variation they’ll wear on July 28th. To say these caps/jerseys are tremendous would be an understatement (from the Fresno Grizzlies). … The Rochester Red Wings (in red) and the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (in black) played a “Color Rush” game last evening (h/t Someone). … Check out the pullovers and sansabelts worn by Pudge Rodriguez’ little league team, which the Rangers showed off for their Friday Flashback photo (nice spot by Eric Gamborg). … We sure do love long names on back, even when they’re radially arched, don’t we? (h/t Michael). … The Toledo Mud Hens did a Harry Potter jersey night yesterday. … According to a few stats released by the league, Aaron Judge walked away with not only the Derby crown but some pretty magnificent jersey sales. Jersey sales for All-Star Game festivities as a whole were up 42% year-over-year and the league has credited that specifically to Judge’s influence. … “How rare is two #0s in one game?” asks ian (#IIAY)”. “Yunel Escobar and Mallex Smith are both wearing a goose egg tonight.”
NFL/College/CFL/High School Football News News: This article ranks the B1G uniforms. According to the feedback I received on Twitter, the author has not made popular choices. … Speaking of rankings, someone else ranked the SEC. … Despite President Martha Pollack’s announcement Monday that the University will no longer license official apparel through Nike once the current supply is sold out, Cornell athletics teams will continue to sport the famed swoosh this upcoming season. … Just because there isn’t a “Shamrock Series” game in 2017, that doesn’t mean won’t wear an alternate get-up this year. … Speaking of alternate jerseys — will Georgia Tech be wearing blue jerseys this season? (from Cody Fortune). … The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks got an upgrade to their purple unis for 2017 (from Chris Mycoskie). … Of those new SFA unis, Uni Review says, “I think I’ve seen this stripe design before.” Which triggered this response (and several others). … The Missouri Western Griffons have new uniforms (or at least white jerseys) (via Paul). … WHOA — check out this “Design of the day: Tulane Green Wave vs. Florida Gators, October 5, 1946″ (from Sports Paper). … BFGS? “Saw this black Patriots helmet signed by Gronk at a store in the Mall of New Hampshire,” says Joey Ellis. … New uniforms for Northern Arizona University this season (from Dave Zorn). Here’s another look. … New Speedflex hats for Georgia State Football this fall (from Doug “Bear” Hazard). … With a new facility, the ASU Sun Devils have Issued a Swag Alert (from ASU Jedi).
Hockey News: Some New Jersey Devils players at development camp earlier this week wearing old Reebok jerseys, not the new Adidas jerseys (noted by James Beattie). … For those of you who care about such things, here’s a list of the highest selling NHL player jerseys in 2017. Of course, with adidas taking over the Reebok branding, now everyone will have to go out and buy new $300 polyester shirts.
NBA/G-League/Summer League/College Basketball News: Interesting (if depressing) take on the NBA uni ads sitch (and how to “follow the money”) from Ad Age which notes “Follow the Money: Ads on NBA Jerseys Open the Doors for Other Top Sports.” … Great find from our own Mike Chamernik who notes this “great compilation of the ridiculous free-use photos used for players’ profile pages on Wikipedia.” … On Wednesday, Lonzo Ball raised eyebrows when he wore a pair of Nikes ”” instead of his family’s own Big Baller Brand shoes, priced at a mere $495 ”” in a Summer League game for the Lakers, and he followed that up Thursday with another big performance, in yet another pair of shoes. … Because they wouldn’t want to miss out on a legal cash cow, ad patches are being discussed for new Blazers jerseys.
Soccer News: Granada yesterday launched its new Home, Away and Third kits for the 2017-18 season. Official supplier Joma has created a Home shirt that keeps the club’s identity and its red and white colors as main element. … The new NÃ¼rnberg 2017-2018 home kit was released yesterday. Again made by Umbro, the new NÃ¼rnberg 2017-18 kit boasts a bespoke look. … Turkish SÃ¼per Lig OsmanlÄ±spor this week revealed their new jerseys for the 2017-18 season. The new Osmanlispor 2017-2018 shirts boast outstanding designs, created by the club and based on Nike Teamwear jerseys (h/t Cory Mizer).
Grab Bag: Is “adidas in favor of removing racially insensitive team names?” P.K. Richardson notes that in “this new ad campaign from adidas, a fictional HS basketball team can be seen taping over the INDIANS wordmark on their jerseys.” … Seems like after some chatter about how the archaic and unstable dress code barred women wearing otherwise professional sleeveless dresses and tops in certain areas of the House of Representatives, Speaker Paul Ryan has promised updates to the dress code (from Tommy Turner).
And that’s it for today. Congratulations again to Brent Hatfield for winning the Fauxback Jersey Contest. Thanks to Bill Henderson for his words of wisdom on last night’s throwbacks. Everyone have a great Saturday. I’ll be back tomorrow…
…but until then…
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“I grew up calling them sneakers and wonder if anybody else were like my brother and I when we got a new pair. By that I mean we’d test out how fast they were by running to the end of the hallway and back in our apartment building.”